The Early Years: Sassona Norton (formerly, Sakel), a native of Israel, pursued painting from a very early age. After graduating from the Tel-Aviv University in Literature and Theater, she went on to teach high-school senior students, produced and directed plays and published articles on various art disciplines in “Yedioth Ahronoth”, Israel's largest newspaper.
Her professional career as a painter was jump-started in her twenties by her sold-out first solo show at Gallery 220 in Tel-Aviv. The Jerusalem Post praised the show for its “unique personal vision”.
1974: Norton immigrates to the United States and joins the Art Students' League of New York under the Isabel Bishop Merit Scholarship.
1980: "A Yellow Night", Norton's large reclining nude, is published in "Twentieth Century Masters of Erotic Art" by Bradley Smith (Crown Publishers, NY), which includes works by Picasso, Rodin, Calder and Dali.
1981: Norton is selected for the traveling show "Eight Young New Yorkers on the Horizon".
1983: "The Rain Prayer", a large painting of hands, is published in the 16 volume series "Discover Art" by Laura H. Chapman (Davis Publications).
1984: a second solo-show in New York, at Sutton gallery, is praised by the critic Peter Fingesten for its "strength, poetic, erotic, masculine, intellectual and sculptural nature".
1999: after 10-year involvement in architectural projects of design and installation, Norton shifts from painting to sculpting exclusively.
2002: Norton is awarded the Huntington merit medal for her sculpture “The Edge of Rest” at “The National Arts Club” New York.
2003: Norton wins an international competition to sculpt the 9/11 Memorial for the larger Philadelphia area. The 18 feet Memorial, the largest in the State to honor the victims and the First responders, consists of a pair of 8-feet tall hands lifting to the sky an I-beam from the North Tower of the world Trade Center. The memorial was installed in Norristown in September 2005.
2006: Norton has a major show of her sculptures at the Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey. The show is extended by popular demand to over 6 months. The hard cover book “Sassona Norton Sculpture”, published by the museum in connection with the show, includes articles by Ann Landi and Hilarie Sheets of ARTnews and The New York Times.
“The work here”, writes The Star Ledger art critic, Dan Bishop, “has vigorously modeled surface and expressively exaggerated details…the sensual tension of bodies or limbs in convulsive movement is everywhere…the human figure is struggling to break free, possibly the oldest tradition in sculpture that we have”.
2007: The Morris Museum celebrates the opening of a new wing with a show that centered on Norton’s sculpture. The show titled “Sculpture by Sassona Norton and from The Permanent Collection” is on view through 2009.
Norton’s sculpture is published in the prestigious Henry Buhl art calendar. The sculpture “To Whom Do I Pray” was purchased by Henry Buhl in 2005 and is included in his collection of sculptures of hands exhibited one year later at the Norton Museum in Palm Beach, Florida.
2008: the video, “A Memorial Journey”, on the construction of Norton’s 9/11 Memorial, is shown at the international art fair in Stockholm, Sweden.
Norton curates “Fresh Perspectives” at the Morris Museum.
In July 2008, Norton is selected for the museum show exploring new applications of drawing.
The large sculpture “First Rain” is exhibited in the Sculptors’ Guild outdoor installation “In-Site” on Governors Island, New York.
2009: Norton is selected by the New Jersey Council on the Arts to lead a public conversation on art in the series of “Great Conversations”.
The 9/11 Memorial, "Memories of Sweetness" and "Unquenchable Thirst" are published in "Best of America - Sculpture Artists".
2010: "Touch", a 9 feet tall pair of hands is exhibited in “Encounters” on Governors Island.
2011: Norton’s “The Seed Cradle” is exhibited at "New Work", at Broadway Gallery, Soho, NYC.
“To Whom Do I Pray” is the central work in “The Buhl Hand Collection”, at the Photography Center, in Palm Beach, Florida.
A solo show of Norton's work is held at the Tambaran Gallery in New York.
Norton is selected from 8 other sculptors in Europe and the U.S. by the Swedish Advertising and Branding Bjorn Bertoft to sculpt a monument for anti-doping in sports to honor Professor Arne Ljungqvist, Member of the International Olympic Committee and Vice President of the World Anti-Doping Committee.
In November 2011, "Touch" is chosen by Aesthetica UK for its collection of the best international creative works for 2012.
2012: Norton's sculpture "A Rising Issue" is exhibited in "OPENINGS", the Sculptors' Guild show at the Dumbo Gallery.
2013: "Into the Wind" is exhibited in "Rising Tide", Sculptors' Guild show on Governors Island.
2014: Norton starts to work on Hurricane Sandy Monument for the waterfront in Jersey City.
2015: Norton shows her work in "A Sure Hand" at Morris Arts, NJ.
In April 2015, Norton gives a talk about her sculpture and the importance of monuments at the Park Avenue Club. The talk is sponsored by the Morris Arts and includes a slide show of the Hurricane Sandy Monument and a movie of the 9/11 Memorial that Norton installed in Pennsylvania.
Plans for the anti-doping monument in Europe are reintroduced. Professor Arne Ljungqvist flies from Sweden to visit Norton’s studio to discuss options for the monument “Et Purus”. The plans are to have a monument in every major City in Europe. Talks and budgets are finalized for a monument in Monaco and in Stockholm. Future monuments are sought for Lausanne and Dubai. A website dedicated to the monument Et Purus is established by the Swedish Foundation www.etpurus.com.
2016: Norton was invited to show her sculpture “An Hour Before Dawn” at the Workhouse Art Center, AKA The Prison Museum, in Lorton, VA. The sculpture celebrated the Suffragists’ Centennial and commemorated their imprisonment and torture during the Night of Terror at the former Lorton Reformatory.
2016-2017: “To Whom Do I Pray” is exhibited at the Henry Buhl’s ‘Hands”, the old Parish Museum in South Hampton, NY.
2017: Final design for the Et Purus Monument is selected. The Arts General Secretary of Monaco visits studio to discuss the installation site on the Palace grounds of H.S.H. Prince Albert II.
2018: Sassona Norton is elected to the Board of Trustees of the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey.
2019: Norton is a juror of the show "Fresh Perspectives" at the Morris Museum.
Norton’s sculpture “An Hour Before dawn”, purchased by Craig Ponzio of Colorado in 2006, was selected as the face of the upcoming show of his signature collection at the Denver Botanic Garden. In addition to Sassona Norton, the exhibition included sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Jacques Lipchitz, Beverly Pepper, Rufino Tamayo, Manolo Valdés and Eric Fischl. The show run from April 19 to September 15, 2019.
A contract is signed between Norton and the Swedish Foundation for anti-doping in sports to produce a large edition of the monument Et Purus. The scope develops to an edition of 20 monuments. Each monument will include the same seven-feet sculpture of a hand in the gesture of Number One, marked with a gold ring of purity at the tip of the index finger. The sculpture will rise on a unique base, specific to each designated site around the world.
2021: Et Purus No.1 is installed in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on Jeteé Lucciana, which juts into the Mediterranean and borders the famous Monaco Yacht Harbor. The unveiling was hosted by HSH Prince Albert II in the presence of international sports dignitaries and the media.
Plans are made to install Et Purus No. 2 in Stockholm in the fall of 2022.
Sassona Norton is a member of The International Sculpture Center, the Sculptors' Guild (served on the board for several years), The National Sculpture Society, The Washington Sculptors Group, and The Royal British Society of Sculptors (ARBS).
Norton is represented in by Tambaran Gallery in NY.